The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) announced on April 14 that its research team led by Dr. Kim Hyun-tak developed an eight-inch wafer production technique by which more than 200,000 electronic elements can be produced with a large-area silicon substrate by the use of mott metal-insulator transition (MIT).
The mott MIT refers to a phenomenon in which a nonconductor is turned into a metal or vice versa without a structural phase transition. Dr. Kim Hyun-tak demonstrated the theory in 2005 and has continued with his research since then in order to commercialize electronic elements with MIT materials.
His research team has produced MIT elements for research purposes by using two-inch wafers. However, the maximum production capacity was limited to 16,000 elements and this limitation led to a high price and a low level of production efficiency. Last year, the team succeeded in developing MIT elements for magnetic switches for home and industrial uses with the two-inch wafers.
The professor explained that the utilization of the newly developed technique results in reduced MIT element production costs, current leakage prevention and an improved device yield. The technique is expected to be utilized in such equipment as high-efficiency smart power transistors, fire detection sensors, illumination sensors and lithium-ion batteries. “The sensitivity of a sensor to which the MIT technology is applied is about 1,000 times that of a semiconductor sensor,” the professor mentioned, adding, “We will further develop this technique by working on mass production and applied technologies and combining it with the Internet of Things and the like.” Details of the research are available in the Applied Physics Letters journal.